#Ashamed — Bloggers Fight Back Against Georgia’s Fat-Shaming Ad Campaign

by Janice

Fighting childhood obesity is not easy. From child-advocates who petition to have school lunch menus changed and junk food vending machines removed from schools, to parents trying to convince their kids to choose carrot sticks over french fries, changing lifestyle habits in America is complicated and challenging.

Yes, it is a difficult task — but I think most of us can agree that shaming overweight children and their parents with cruel billboards plastered all over the state of Georgia is not helping the situation.

Georgia-stop-childhood-obesity-strong-4-life

It is good that the government of Georgia is concerned about reducing obesity and improving the health of children. But, fighting childhood obesity is a touchy topic and needs to be dealt with carefully and wisely.

It makes me wonder, if this campaign is from the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, what do the child psychiatrists and therapists think of this approach? Did they support — or even help create it?!?

edited: The original video embedded in this post was from a different PSA campaign, not Strong4Life. My apologies for the confusion.

Tough love?!?

The campaign creators may think they are just getting tough on obesity in Georgia, telling Georgia to, “Stop sugarcoating it.” But, the vicious cycle of shame and food addiction is just worsened by such attacks.

To the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the government of Georgia, I have to say, “Find a better way. Cause that approach isn’t going to work for you.”

So, 5 Minutes for Mom, is joining up with Leah Segedie and her Mamavation community and hundreds of bloggers and blogging communities to fight back against this shame campaign.

You can join us tonight on Twitter to voice your concern about these ads and help support positive change toward healthy living.

#ASHAMED Twitter Chat

“We believe it’s wrong to fight obesity by fighting obese people… especially children. Children are defenseless and cannot fight back on their own. Obese people are not the problem, obesity IS. Campaigns that have a focus on hope, support, and education are far more beneficial to children. Most overweight children already suffer from self esteem issues, which are going to be considerably exasperated by these ads.”

Event: Friday, January 27th from 9-10pm EST

Hashtag: #Ashamed

Purpose: To protest the Strong4Life Ads in the State of Georgia and chat about obesity and ways to solve the problem

Here are some of the main mom blogging communities that have come out against these ads and will be at the chat:

1. Mamavation with Leah Segedie @Bookieboo

2. Resourceful Mommy Media with Amy Lupold Bair @Resourcefulmom

3. Type A Mom with Kelby Carr @Typeamom

4. 5 Minutes for Mom Community with Janice Croze @5minutesformom

5. Anissa Mayhew with Slightly Bent Productions @AnissaMayhew

6. Christine Young with Dates for Diapers @youngmommy

7. Cecily Kellogg with UpperCase Woman @Cecilyk

8. DietsnReview @Dietsinreview

9. Sue O Lear as @Mrsfatass

10. Amy Bellgardt with Mom Spark Media @Momspark

11. Stacie Haight Connerty with Divine Miss Mommy @Stacieinatlanta

12. Lisa Morris Frame with A Daily Pinch @Daily_Pinch

13. Social Media Moms with Kadi Prescott @kadiprescott

14. Bloggy Moms with Tiffany Noth @bloggymoms

15. InspiredRD with Alysa Bajenaru, RD @InspiredRD

16. DrMommyOnline with Dr. Daisy Sutherland @DrMommy

17. Sugar in the Raw with Sugar Jones @SugarJones

18. Queen of Spain with Erin Kotecki Vest @QueenofSpain

19. Fitfluential with Kelly Olexa @KellyOlexa

20. Jessica Northley @JessicaNorthley

21. Loralee with Looneytunes @Looneytunes

22. Green & Clean Mom with Sommer Poquette @Greenmom

23. Runhers @Runhers Community

24. EXPERT: Dr. Jen @Playthisway

25. Fitbottomedgirls community @Fitbottomedgirls

26. Jenny on the Spot with Jenny Ingram @Jennyonthespot

27. Greeblemonkey with Aimee Giese @Greeblemonkey

28. Fun and Fit.org with Alexandra Williams @Alexandrafunfit

29. Skimbaco Lifestyle with Katja Presnal @Katjapresnal

30. Pure Natural Diva with Tania @Purenaturaldiva

31. MommyPR with Angela @MommyPR

(More to come…)

There will also be giveaways during the chat, generously donated by members of the participating blogging communities:

    FIVE (5) winners will each receive a $50 Visa Gift Card.

    ONE (1) winner will receive a $50 AmEx Gift Card.

    ONE (1) winner will receive a Full Conference Pass to the Type-A Parent Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina plus the book Mom Blog SEO

    THREE (3) winners will each receive My Trainer Fitness for At Work

Join us by tweeting this message:

TONITE moms R joining together in opposition 2 @Strong_4_Life & their irresponsible ads towards kids, http://bit.ly/zA5FCk #Ashamed

OR

Shaming the “Fat” kid is NOT the way to solve the Obesity Epidemic, bit.ly/zFKYOM #Ashamed

OR

TONIGHT: Stop the Shaming of Overweight Children in Georgia. Join us at 9pm EST to chat about #Ashamed, http://bit.ly/zASFCk

AND — If you would like to join us in opposing these ads and asking the Strong 4 Life Campaign to cease harming children with them, sign the linky at Mamavation with your twitter name OR blog.

You can ALSO give your opinion on the ad campaign at the Obesity Action Coalition website.

Written by Janice Croze, co-founder of 5 Minutes for Mom.

We want to get to know you better — Tweet with us: @5minutesformom, find us on Facebook: Facebook.com/5minutesformom, or join our newsletter list.


If you want to help spread the word, we would love it if you tweeted or FB’d this post. Thanks so much! We really appreciate your support of 5 Minutes for Mom.



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bethany January 27, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Ugh, it was such a crazy day I just sat down to look at my fave sites. At 10:26 Eastern. Wish I had looked earlier.

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2 jennifer o. January 28, 2012 at 7:57 am

Wow. Wish i’d seen this yesterday. How the heck could this thinghave managed to see the light of day?

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3 Rachel January 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

We’re often in Atlanta, and I’ve seen these billboards. the first time I saw one, my mouth just hung open – I couldn’t believe anyone could get away with putting something like that up!! I agree that childhood obesity certainly needs to be handled – but dang!! Those billboards were not the most healthy way to go about it. We as grown adults get body image issues just from seeing the Victoria’s Secret ads – no need to start those issues even earlier by so ungraciously pointing out the differences.

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4 Noel Guillory February 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I feel like these ads are doing exactly what they were meant to do- they’re getting attention and raising awareness. Any softer of an ad would be written off and ignored. Children don’t want to be unhealthy. Children don’t understand that this isn’t a stage, it’s a lifestyle that WILL lead to health problems and eventually an early death. Parents need to be held accountable. Parents need to see what having a heavy child really is- it’s not that they’re not beautiful, it’s that they’re not healthy that’s the problem. The ads are doing what they’re meant to do- HELLO WORLD, OBESE CHILDREN ARE NOT OKAY!

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5 Rachel February 10, 2012 at 5:32 pm

children also don’t do the grocery shopping, or have ANY control over their families income or eating habits. Poverty and obesity are linked because the cheapest food is the most fattening. If shame was an effective tool for weight loss, everyone would be skinny. There are also other factors. I came up poor and REALLY hungry. I was skinny, my sister was fat. It wasn’t because we had enough to eat, it was because we had no access to fresh healthy foods, we had to get the cheapest process foods. My sister and I had the same diet, she was real big like my mom, and I was really skinny like my brothers. All the women in my family are very big, except me. My sister was shamed and bullied. Kids threw rocks at her and hit her with them. Kids shoved her off moving merry-go-rounds. Kids shoved her into traffic. She was asked by a counselor in her elementary school if she was pregnant. That’s ELEMENTARY SCHOOL! People were unrelentingly cruel to her. All that without any official sanction of fat shaming. Do you REALLY think fat kids are not already tormented by other children? So, you know what these ads will do? They will make it clear that those kids DESERVE to be shamed.

You know what they WILL NOT DO????? They won’t make sure our kids have access to playgrounds and sports and afterschool programs, safe places to play are hard to come by for poor kids. A lot of the times, they stay inside because its just not safe for them to be outside alone. These ‘awareness raising’ techniques will also not address the corporations that are pocketing our tax dollars and in return feeding schoolkids processed pre-packaged crap with little nutritional value. These campaigns will not heighten awareness of childhood hunger, and the way it is linked to childhood obesity. They won’t attempt to provide access to fresh and healthy foods.

They will instead focus attention on those who are MOST victimized here, these kids who have NO FREAKING CHOICES around where they live and what they consume, and it will make these kids feel that they are to blame for something they didn’t choose and don’t have any tools to change.

It will do all of this while cloaking the REAL problems of access to food and healthcare and safe place to play and the corporations that get rich selling us crap for school lunches behind a rhetoric of shame and blame. Because you know what’s not ok??? That obesity is linked to poverty and hunger, that women and children are the biggest groups below the poverty line, that some one in four kids is reported to NOT HAVE ENOUGH FOOD in this one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

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6 Tena Ann March 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I can not believe these ads! What are they thinking??? They are making it worse for kids not better! I could not believe it when I saw some of the ads I became outraged. They are children for God’s sake! Their brain is still developing. They are still trying to figure out who they are.Strong4life does not consider why a child is over weight. It could be because they are being abused at home. Either sexually, physically, emotionally, or all of the above. And the only comfort they can find is in food. I know I was abused and did just that. I had no one to help me. I had no choices. I was brought up to believe that I was worthless, I was ugly, and that I was nothing. And this was told to me by my own parents.
The family life has a lot to do with how a child is effected. Is the family life dysfunctional?
It is up to the parents to teach a child about life. About proper eating. About self worth, self love. Children become what they have been learned from their parents. If a parent praises their child, supports their child, gets involved with them and loves them with a love that only a true parent can give then the child will become a strong, adult who values themselves as who they are.
But a parent does not praise their child or support them, become involved with them or doesnt love them as a parent should that child will grow up thinking they are not someone who is worthy. I know I went through this.
And the fact that this evil group stated “It’s not okay to blame the kids for being bullied” Excuse me??? So now the child should blame themselves because they were not RESPONSIBLE in their eating habits? They are children! It is the parents RESPONSIBILITY to oversee their childs actions.
We have enough kids committing suicide for being bullied. Now the people who are doing the bullying will feel justified because of these ads.
I want to stop these ads! Whatever I can do I will be more than happy to do it!

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